India’s DRDO Flight Test New Helina ATGM

Ministry of Defense India on Monday successfully flight-tested Helina, an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), in Pokhran. The test was part of user validation trials of the third generation ‘fire and forget’ class missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The flight test was conducted by teams from DRDO, the Army and the Air Force.

The flight trials were conducted from an indigenously developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the missile was fired successfully, engaging a simulated tank target in the Pokhran desert ranges. The missile is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the ‘lock on before launch’ mode.

India carries out successful flight-test of anti-tank guided missile Helina in Pokhran.

Helina, which was flight-tested from an indigenously developed Advanced Light Helicopter, is one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world, the DRDO stated.

Helina has a maximum range of seven kilometers and has been designed and developed for integration on weaponized version of the ALH.

“In continuation to validation trials conducted at Pokhran, proof of efficacy at high altitudes paves the way for its integration on ALH. The trials were witnessed by senior Army commanders and senior scientists of DRDO,” said a press statement from the Ministry of Defence.

Helina has been developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad under the Missiles and Strategic Systems (MSS) cluster of the DRDO. Successful user trials of the missile have been conducted since 2018.

DRDO scientists said that the Helina missile system has all-weather, day and night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as explosive reactive armour. It has been developed for integration with choppers in both the Army and the Air Force. The Air Force version of Helina is sometimes referred to as Dhruvastra.

Helina can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode. In the top attack mode, the missile is required to climb sharply after launch and travel at a certain altitude and then plunge on the top of the target. In the direct hit mode, the missile travels at a lower altitude, directly striking the target.

The DRDO has designed and developed a range of anti-tank missile technologies that include the Nag, Helina MPATGM, SANT and Laser Guided ATGM for MBT Arjun.

Nag is a third-generation fire-and-forget missile developed for mechanized formations to engage heavily fortified enemy tanks. MPATGM stands for Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile which has a range of 2.5 kilometers, with fire-and-forget and top attack capabilities for infantry use.

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